Growing Your Business Through Efficient, Automated Processes with Daleele Alison
Oct 28, 2021
Systems and processes are essential in every business. Without these building blocks in place, your business is bound to fall apart. Tasks, leads, sales, customer experience — your organization's operations hinge on these processes.
In this episode, we interview Daleele Alison, CEO and co-founder of RooksDM. We discuss designing efficient automated processes using the right technology tools. He details the key aspects that you will need to look into when outlining your business operations. We also discuss the points of opportunity where you can use technology tools to streamline workflow.
If you want to know how to create efficient automated processes, then this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:
- Learn about the four quadrants in systematizing.
- Find out how you can streamline your workflows and manage tasks efficiently by using automated processes.
- Discover the appropriate technology tools and automation methods for your business or law firm.
Daleele’s Journey to Working with Technology and Processes
- Growing up, Daleele tinkered with computers a lot.
- He studied Information Technology (IT) in college because of his passion for computers.
- After graduating from college, he began working for large Fortune 500 companies. He assessed their processes and determined how to make them efficient.
- Processes are often made efficient by using the right technology tools.
- Efficient processes streamline workflow. They also help you leverage other high-value activities to provide better service.
The Four Quadrants of Systematization
- Client intake is where a potential prospect reaches out to hire you for your services.
- Client onboarding involves receiving a signature, collecting payment, and preparing for the next phase.
- The next phase would be client management, in which you have all the information to manage their specific file.
- The fourth and last phase is client offboarding. Here the client doesn't need further services after receiving legal counsel. All that's left is putting the bow on it.
Putting Processes First
- When creating processes, take a step back and look at how you can guide your customers.
- If you don’t have any processes outlined, start with a Word document and outline the steps of the process.
- When mapping out the entire customer journey, you can see how to streamline your operations. You can also see how to make your processes more efficient.
- Focusing on the process first and technology second allows you to fix the root cause of any problems. You can create automated processes later.
Daleele: “Because if you have a bad process and you try to throw technology at it, you’re just trying to fix something that’s bad. Which is not fixing the root cause.”
Balancing the Details
- Determine your biggest challenge at the moment. Assess your current process to identify possible solutions.
- Scheduling is one of the most common frustrations that they encounter.
- For example, using Calendly can help streamline the process. It allows customers to book an appointment in real-time.
- There needs to be a good balance between detail and high level. If you go too deep into one aspect, you'll experience diminishing returns.
- To achieve that balance, determine where you’re spending the most time.
The Matter of Budgeting
- In a recent project with an immigration law firm, they had trouble scheduling initial consultations.
- The gap between sending an email and receiving a response disrupts productivity.
- A clear outline allows you to figure out where automated processes can fit in.
- For the immigration law firm, they successfully shifted their entirely manual process to a one-click process.
- Well-defined processes also ensure that things don’t fall through the cracks and gain micro-level efficiencies.
How to Document Your Processes
- If you want to go deep, you may talk to a process consultant.
- Their core focus is the implementation of technology tools to streamline processes. RooksDM’s services are a hybrid of the processes and technology.
- You can use Word and Google Docs to outline your processes.
- Process flows enable you to visualize your process. Microsoft Visio and Lucidchart are handy tools for doing this.
- For creating standard operating procedures (SOPs), you can use Microsoft tools and Wiki pages.
The Role of Technology in Automated Processes
Daleele: “Technology is the backbone of all businesses.”
- Specifically for law firms, collaboration is critical.
- Establishing collaboration systems are essential for communication and file sharing.
- Practice management systems are also essential for law firms in managing cases.
- The sales aspect involves nurturing your customers and leads as well as generating retainer agreements.
Automation and Reduction
- Consider creating automated processes upfront. However, it might be challenging if you're not familiar with technology tools.
- You don't want to fix a bad process by throwing technology at it. Delete the process if you can.
- Before providing solutions, do your due diligence. It helps to examine the current landscape of your processes and technology tools.
- List down all your technology tools and how many users you have.
- Determine if you can consolidate some of those tools. Reduce the number of tools you're using if it makes sense to your processes.
Daleele: “Less systems you have to maintain, less systems you have to pay for so that’s a cost savings as well.”
Managing Tasks and Workflow
- Specific cases call for specific tasks to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks.
- Choose the systems suitable for your firm to create automated processes that help your operations.
- For example, RooksDM uses Clickup because it works better for them in task storage.
Daleele: “... it does vary practice to practice, but I think it’s important to understand what technology tools are you using. And then what is the most intuitive or what is the most useful for your team and kind of aligning it to those needs.”
What Does RooksDM Do?
- RooksDM does technology consulting and implementation.
- The first step would be an assessment to understand the business, its processes, and its challenges.
- After the assessment, they create a road map to show the opportunities for automation and streamlining.
- Some people might already have the technology tool to solve their problems. Alternatively, they might be throwing technology at a problem that doesn't require it.
Daleele: “So that's why we always start with the assessment because it not only saves time. It saves money in the long run as well, too, because we will have a clear understanding of what's needed.”
- Lastly, they’ll work closely with their clients for the implementation phase and offer any system maintenance.
RooksDM’s Client Services
- There are three client categories: pure configuration, a hybrid model, or full custom development.
- Pure configuration involves recommending a technology tool that fits better with the client's ecosystem. Then, RooksDM helps configure it to address their specific needs.
- The hybrid model is custom coding to route those workflows and creating an adaptor to sync them together.
- Full custom development is a last resort due to the expensive costs and complexity. However, they only do it for process movement and automation.
RooksDM’s Revenue Volume
- They usually provide value to teams of around ten or more.
Daleele: “... you want to start thinking about these automations and these efficiencies as you’re scaling your business.”
- A growth mindset is one of the factors that they look for in clients. Technology and automation are beneficial to the business scaling process.
- On the other hand, other consultants might prefer working with solopreneurs.
- Cost efficiency is also a factor in choosing a process consultant.
Business Maturity as a Qualifier
- They’re starting to inch up more, but RooksDM delivers the most value for businesses that are 3-5 years old.
- More business maturity means a better understanding of what works for you.
Daleele: "... three years in, you've gone through a few different iterations, and you know what works for you. You know what your clients are happy with, and you know what your team has become grown to do.”
Moshe: “... you’re going to change how you do things as you grow. And the thing that is really important is not to get married to ‘This is how I do it’. Because there's always potentially a better way.”
Daleele Alison is a technology professional, entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder of RooksDM. RooksDM is a technology consulting group that alleviates the pain points of small to medium-sized businesses. You can't just throw technology at a problem: RooksDM will help you figure out the right technology to use.
Daleele has experience in small business analysis, project management, and customer service. He provides holistic support by making the digital marketing experience both productive and comfortable. Furthermore, he's an avid network and public speaker. He also founded Local Coffee Chi to meet new friends and find the best local coffee shops in Chicago.
Interested in Daleele’s work? Check out RooksDM. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.
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